Lack of fuels in the UK: first distributors closed

Lack of fuels in the UK: first distributors closed

Lack of fuels in the UK

Apparently, due to Brexit and also the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain could - soon - face a serious problem such as a lack of fuel. In fact, some BP stations and refueling points managed by Esso - which are mainly located near Tesco chain stores - have been closed for a few days precisely due to the lack of fuel. The lack of fuel is linked, in turn, to the lack of truck drivers, necessary for the transport of the tanks. The London government seems to have reduced the alarms on what could be the rationing of fuels (petrol and diesel) in view of the winter season. However, the intervention of the police may be necessary if the problem should worsen.

For the moment, this is a problem linked to some areas that are located near the capital and in those south-east of Great Britain. Furthermore, the refueling points involved in the closures are - however - about 100 out of 8,380 present throughout the nation. Despite this, it seems to be clear that this is yet another economic problem - after the increase in fuel prices - linked to Brexit. The United Kingdom will obviously have to face more difficulties than expected than when the nation left the European Union. It must be said that the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation, mainly in terms of the labor market. In fact, in recent days, images have been released showing some supermarkets - obviously in Great Britain - practically empty.

In addition, more fast food chains have almost been forced to change their menus due to the lack of supplies linked - as happened with fuels - to the lack of truckers. Thus, it seems to be evident that the whole British nation's logistics system is facing a serious problem. Thousands of foreign workers - due to the pandemic - find it difficult to return to their jobs and approximately 100,000 heavy vehicle drivers (out of a total of 600,000) are missing the appeal. For this reason, the government may need the help of the military, at least until the situation returns to normal. Meanwhile, the Road Haulage Association appears to have requested the executive to review visa restrictions for foreign workers in order to allay the problem of the lack of truckers.

UK government sees 'tentative' signs fuel crisis is easing

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the crisis was so far causing worry, but not major disruption, for educators who are already grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We very much hope the situation is resolved rapidly before it causes disruption,” he said. “There is the option for remote education, which schools and colleges have shown themselves to be very adept at providing through the pandemic, but this is very much a last resort and they will be hoping it doesn’t come to that.”

The supply problems stem from a shortage of as many as 100,000 truck drivers, due to a perfect storm of factors including pandemic-related disruption to driver training, an aging workforce and an exodus of foreign workers following Britain’s departure from the European Union last year. Post-Brexit immigration rules mean EU citizens can no longer live and work visa-free in Britain, as they could when the U.K. was a member of the bloc.

The British government has put army tanker drivers on standby to deliver fuel if needed, and has said it will issue 5,000 short-term visas to foreign truck drivers to help ease the crisis in the run-up to Christmas.

While other countries, including the United States and Germany, also are experiencing a shortage of truck drivers, the problem has been especially visible in Britain, where it has contributed to empty supermarket shelves and shuttered gas pumps.